I have nothing to tell, which is why I haven't. I'd love to say we did this & we did that & the holidays are fabulous, but the reality is I've been broke (see afore mentioned bank issues) therefore I'm waaaaay behind on shopping for gifts, cookies are being made by the family this weekend, and I was informed today that my siblings are, yet again, not getting together for Christmas this year. I'm disappointed. They have yet to meet the baby, nor do most of them seem to care (save Kathy who I talk to regularly). I don't know, I could get all bent out of shape, but when good would that do? It wouldn't change anything. And I have a couple of friends who might back out of New Year's Eve now. I wonder when they're going to tell me?
New Year's is going to be nice this year, I think. I hope. We're hosting a large group of friends, of whom each couple are responsible for bringing one course & appropriate wine. I think it will result in a delicious 8 course meal with good friends & good conversation.
Kidlet heads off to Michigan on her birthday, to spend just over a week with her dad, stepmom & her other new baby brother, Jacob. She turns 14 next Saturday. I can't believe it.
That's that. I hope everyone's holiday plans are coming together well?
Ok, so I wrote my pleasant little post about Gene Wilder, thinking it would calm me down from the stressful week, but here I am, back a few hours later because I cannot control my rage.
I HATE BANKS! I LOATHE & DETEST THEM WITH A PASSIONATE UNKNOWN TO MOST OF MANKIND!!!
I'll spare you the sordid details, but let's just say, don't believe anything you're told, don't think that just because they've always done something one way, they will continue to do so, and most of all, when they say "it's all taken care of" run in fear because it's NEVER true. OH, and just because something is THEIR mistake, don't expect them to own up to it or fix it...instead they'll just keep charging you fees while THEY figure out their computer problems.
My other rant of the day is money related in that I just want what I ordered, is that so much to ask? Freakin' fast food, it isn't difficult, you didn't slave over rare & expensive ingredients to make me meat on a bun, so why can't you ever seem to get it right? McDonald's boasts it helps its employees go to school, could you start already by teaching them how to put the correct salad or burger in a bag, with fries, and more than ONE sauce packet? And when I order a beef & cheddar, I want more than the essence of cheese on it ok? Likewise when I order something without an ingredient, could you please make sure I get it that way?
Why, oh why are we continually at the mercy of idiots? I'll blame the government, perhaps they are only following their leader. ugh.
I just finished reading a poinently truthful & delightfully funny book by actor Gene Wilder. His autobiography tells the tale of someone truly grateful for everything that he's been given in life, including life itself.
Born & raised in Milwaukee, he has a natural talent that lead him to the opportunities to study with some of the most amazing people, and perform with some greats, as well. His personal life was bumpy but he was always in pursuit of joy & love, something I think most of us can relate to.
I don't write review here very often for the endless books I read, but this one touched me in the fact that he laid himself out in such a way that could open the door to criticism and instead you get a real understanding of who he is as a man, an actor, a writer, and a husband who isn't always successful, but certainly always strives to do what's best. I recommend this read to anyone who enjoys his work. He really IS Willy Wonka...a sweet, somewhat manic man who what's goodness & love.
Has anyone else heard about the new DVD release of the original "Sesame Street" shows? Apparently those of us who watched the show back when we were wee ones in 1969 when it started, were horribly scarred for life by such things as Cookie Monster's lack of dietary balance, Oscar's grouchiness, and Big Bird delusional friend Mr. Snuffaluppagus. I had no idea that if I showed these episodes to my children they would end up in therapy or something!
You see, the new DVDs come with a warning that they are adults ONLY: "These early 'Sesame Street' episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today's preschool chid". Are you kidding me?! Clearly today's children don't need to be learning their ABC or 123s and instead should be learning how to get the best crack deal or what to do when mommy gets beat up by her pimp before school. Seriously though, their claim is that Oscar is TOO grumpy (uh, that's why he's called Oscar THE GROUCH, people!) Cookie Monster eats nothing BUT cookies. Uh, again, COOKIE monster. He isn't Cauliflower Monster, or Balanced Diet Monster. Did anyone ever say "Hey, that blue fuzzy guy gets to eat nothing but cookies, I think I'll do the same for my kid!"
Clearly today's child can better relate to Prozac-hopped up Elmo and that wierd new character who thinks she's a fairy or something otherwise inane. I happened to put the show on for a few minutes the other day thinking my 9-month-old son might like the music. In the 14 minutes or so I was able to tolerate the PBS show I did not see a single thing about learning letters or numbers. Just endless amounts of screeching Elmo trying to sing opera, rap & other music that all sounded the same in his 3rd person wail.
We are out of control with attempting to be politically correct these days. Kids need to stop playing video games from the moment they pop out of the womb & they NEED some healthy doses of imagination, good songs, and books...real books with turning pages & everything. And as for children's programming, I may not be "normal" but I'm not a drug addict for having watched "Scooby Doo" or "Lidsville" or even "Bugs Bunny", and those were far more "adult only" than any episode of "Sesame Street".
Here we are in the in-between, that lull time between Thanksgiving & Christmas/Hannukah/Ramadan/Solstace/Kwanzaa...that time that is either filled with stress, anticipation, or both. 'Tis the Season....
Personally, I have a decent start to my gift shopping, with most of them already wrapped as well. Hopefully this week's payday will help me get a further dent in what is yet to be purchased. Since kidlet's birthday is 3 days before Christmas, that is always the extra pressure of finding the "right" gifts.
Baby Boy has been sick all week...runny nose, drool because of 2 more teeth coming in, and eye AND ear infections to boot. Yeah, he has not been a happy boy. Actually, I can't say that. Despite being obviously unwell, he remains pretty happy & playful & just a bit cuddlier more than usual. He just hates when mama wipes his runny nose.
Hubby has been busy...haven't spent much time together at all. We did get to watch 2 episodes of the 3rd season of Dr. Who last night though, which was nice...and hilarious. I've done nothing but work. I had Thanksgiving day off, but otherwise, it's been work, work, work both at home and at the paid jobs. Blah. And now I've been informed I probably won't be given any days off during the christmas holidays. Grr.
I, personally, find it to be a silly holiday…people traveling from all corners of the country to do what? EAT! Sure, I love the turkey & stuffing & cranberries, don’t get me wrong, but that’s all the holiday really is. I hate football passionately, so forget that part of the day…it’s just an annoyance to me to have the TV on. I do enjoy the parades, though the coverage isn’t as good as it used to be. All in all, I find it a misrepresented holiday. And don’t even get me started on “Black Friday”. Shudder You couldn’t pay me to get anywhere near a mall this weekend. That said, I AM thankful for many things...my friends, my family, anyone who actually reads this blog, my home, heat, food, etc.
But…because I always enjoy knowing the “real” story, here are a few myths about Thanksgiving in the United States.
1. The Pilgrims Held the First Thanksgiving Uh…technically no. That claims actually goes to San Elizario, Texas, who had their own little celebration in 1598…23 years before the pilgrims…by a Spanish explorer after leading a group of settlers 350 miles. But if you really want to go with that whole east coast Virginia Thanksgiving, it was really the Berkeley Plantation on Dec. 4, 1619…2 years before the pilgrims. The Margaret, not the Mayflower, had brought 38 English settlers to the plantation and had been ordered by the London company that sponsored them to give thanks every year. It was officially recognized by President Kennedy in 1963.
2. Pilgrims ate turkey Well, no one technically know for sure, we do know they had venison. But no apples, pears or cranberries though. Our idea of Thanksgiving dinner comes from the Victorians, actually. They made it a national holiday in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln issued two Thanksgiving proclamations that we were to have two…one in August, one in November.
3. The First Thanksgiving was because of the great harvest Actually, the harvest of 1621, wasn't great at all. The barley, wheat, and peas the Pilgrims brought with them from England had failed. Fortunately, the corn did well enough that they were able to double their weekly food rations. The Pilgrims were happy to be alive: The previous winter had wiped out 47 people--almost half their community.
4.The USA invented Thanksgiving No country does gluttony quite like the United States. The Calorie Control Council, an industry group, says that Americans consume as much as 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving,. That said, humans have been holding harvest festivals for ages. We may wish we invented Thanksgiving, but we didn't. In ancient times, Middle Eastern peoples offered wheat to "The Great Mother" or "Mother of the Wheat." In medieval times, central Europeans celebrated their harvests at Feast of Saint Martin on November 11th. And we can all be thankful our celebrations aren't like those of the Aztecs, who each year would behead a young girl representing Xilonen, the corn goddess.
Well…please enjoy your pumpkin pie & be thankful there will not be any beheadings at your Thanksgiving (hopefully!)
"Kookaburra drinks rum in the old red tree, Marry Marry me says he, Laugh Kookaburra, laugh Kookaburra or else you'll turn out gay..." "What are you singing to the baby?" "That Kookaburra song." "You do know those aren't the lyrics right?" "uh...no...?"
Yeah, my husband isn't the most musically inclined.
Yesterday was Paul & my 2 year wedding anniversary.
We celebrated in a sort of round about way.
Saturday we went to Abby & Aaron's wedding. This was lovely, and since they actually met at OUR wedding, it was particularly special.
Sunday we went to the Festival of Trees here in town, which was nice, and then out to dinner at Little Europe (mmm...Saurbraten & spaetzel & dumplings).
The actual day of our anniversary I made Shrimp Scampi Newport & we watched the final 2 episodes of Doctor Who (season 2). Yeah...not romantic. Not exciting. I'm a little sad about that, but at least we were together & that's what counts.
It's cold. Freakin' cold. And now I think I'm getting a cold.
This does not make for Happy Kimba.
However...I have been plannning our Girl's Getaway with the other fabulous chickas & that's really exciting! Let's just say we are going to have one hell of a good time! If only it weren't 6 months away.
And there is hot apple cider. With a bit of spiced rum & a cinnamon stick to punch it up a notch.
Ok, so I have a few questions I'd REALLY like answered:
1. What happened to Thanksgiving? I mean, I realize that the holiday serves little purpose other than to gorge oneself on turkey & then let me "menfolk" lie around and watch football for hours on end, but it IS supposedly this big family holiday in American, people. So how come the moment the kids came in from trick-or-treating did I instantly start hearing carols on the radio (24-7, I might add...on 2 different stations) and the mad rush for Christmas began?
2. Someone please explain to me why so many "Christians" call themselves only that, as if it's a badge of honour only they get to wear? Yes, you're Christian, but what are you? Presbyterian? Catholic? Baptist? Lutheran? WHAT? Choose already! I've heard many people say "No, I'm Christian!" Uh...yeah. Let's break that down, shall we? By virtue of the word it means you aren't Jewish or Pagan. You believe in Jesus Christ. So do all of those other religions I just mentioned. So which one are you, already? (And don't even get me started on the pagans who use that word in exactly the same way! ugh...why must I know more about your so-called religious beliefs than you do?)
3. And why do these sort of Christians not allow their children to celebrate Halloween or Santa Claus traditions with the rest of the world? Do they really think that dressing up like a frog for candy or getting a stocking full of toys is really going to lead to their damnation?
4. Why aren't there any Hannukah carols?
5. And since so many people will be getting them as gifts (mostly to themselves) this holiday season, does anyone REALLY need a giant, larger than your couch television?
I feel a mixed bag of emotions right now. Part of me is proud. I felt like a Top Chef contestant last night as I prepared an entire dinner that I'd never made before. Roast duckling with 'ala Orange sauce, a duck reduction gravy, potatoes and a cranberry-orange salad. It was lovely, if I do say so.
However, I feel entirely unappreciated, respected or supported. I never get help anymore with the baby, and thus I'm tired ALL.THE.TIME. I'm working 2 parttime jobs, plus a full time mama job. And still everyone seems to think I'm not doing enough. I just feel like "why do I have to keep proving myself?"
A cabbie picks up a Nun. She gets into the cab, and notices that the VERY handsome cab driver won't stop staring at her. She asks him why he is staring. He replies: "I have a question to ask, but I don't want to offend you" She answers, " My son, you cannot offend me. When you're as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I'm sure that there's nothing you could say or ask that Iwould find offensive." "Well, I've always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me." She responds, "Well, let's see what we can do about that -1) you have to be single and2) you must be Catholic." The cab driver is very excited and says, "Yes, I'm single and Catholic!" "OK" the nun says. "Pull into the next alley." The nun fulfils his fantasy with a kiss that would make a hooker blush. But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying. "My dear child," said the nun, why are you crying?" "Forgive me but I've sinned. I lied and I must confess, I'm married and I'm Jewish." The nun says, "That's OK. My name is Kevin and I'm going to a Halloween party!"
Most of my posts are benign. On the rare occasion they get political. It's that time again. Why? Because our president is The GREATEST Idiot of ALL Time! I simply cannot believe that this man is the so-called "leader of the free world"! Once again he is proclaiming that he'll veto the bill to expand health care to the children of America. Bush said that Congress needs to "stop wasting time and get essential work done on behalf of the American people." Clearly being able to have your children taken care of should they get sick or hurt is unimportant! Ah, but what is this idiots...er, President's take on the essentials that we Americans want to much? He wanted Congress to get busy on passing a permanent extension of a moratorium on state and local taxes on Internet access. Further, he chided Congress for failing to approve more money for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Yep...always more important than our children, right?
To everyone reading this to whom this post is not intended, sorry. To the person for whom this post IS intended I have just a few things I need to say, and since this is my journal, I get to vent.
There are two sides to a story...yours AND mine. If you can't be bothered to listen to mine, then don't make it up in your head. Guess what? Sometimes things happen...cell phones die...people have emergencies come up...crap happens. Guess what? If you'd taken a moment you'd still have been able to salvage the plans, but you blow up too quickly. Guess what? Be angry, that's fine! But do you really have to hold a grudge against everyone?
Venting done...with no names named. It is what it is. I said I was sorry.
Well tomorrow I start my new (second) part-time job at Dinner by Design. I'm looking forward to it. And yet, also have a small sense of dread in the fact that I will be losing many of my evenings with my family. But it's what has to happen, and at least I'll be at a company I think is pretty darn cool. Wish me luck!
I just got back from a wonderful trip. My whole family is healthy & relatively happy. My Halloween party is next weekend. I should be over the moon happy. And yet...there is a funk.
I think part of it is simply stress. Too much to do in too little (or non-existant) time. Costumes to make, food to buy, decorations to make & put up...and now I'm starting a second part-time job. I think I'll like it well enough, but now my evening will be gone. We need the money, so I'm doing my part for my family, but time away from them...and yes, even time away just for me...is tearing me up inside. This week I had 1 1/2 days with my son. I had 2 evenings with my daughter. The husband...forget it. We haven't spent 10 minutes together since we got back from Mackinac.
Kim & I are attempting to plan a "How the Hell Did This Happen?" Girls Getaway weekend for the impending & looming like a vulture over our facing 40 carcasses. We want fun, pretty sites, self-indulgence Spa experiences, cocktails, who generally silliness. Any suggestions of where we can go that won't cost a fortune & is within 10 hours drive time of the midwest?
So, like a rolling fog off the moors...the funk has set in.
Between being raised Catholic, growing up in a Jewish community, and being a mom, I have my own overload of guilt all the time. This week is no exception.
Hubby & I are heading out for a weekend away, leaving the kids with friends & grandparents. Sure, they'll have a great time probably (hopefully) but I still feel guilty.
On the upside, we're joining some dear friends at Mackinac Island! In 48 hours I'll be eating fudge, horseback riding, and probably freezing my booty off (but that's ok, I have plenty of booty to spare). I can't wait! I knew there are a few people who occasionally read my words here, and if you've never heard of Mackinac Island, let me tell you a little about it.
It's located in that little spot between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas, and is only accessible by ferry boat. The island has been maintained as it was during the Victorian age, meaning NO cars of any type. Only horse drawn carriage & bicycles. It's simply lovely, and famous for it's fudge. (yum!) All the fall leaves are peaking with their colours up there right now too. We'll be stopping on our drive there at a winery I found & some of the falls in the U.P.
How far is too far when it comes to your kids? Is there a jumping off point in making sure your kids are safe? How about when it comes to educating them? I think those are simple answers, in that most parents would do most anything self-sacificing to further their children's intellect and safety. But what about their wants & needs? Is there a too far then? Parent Bloggers has proposed the question...what are your thoughts?
I have to say I am not the sort of parent who will sacrifice anything for my kids wants. Toys, clothing trends, video games, those things come & go. I made a rule when my daughter was born that I would never purchase a video game system for her. If someone gave her one, I wouldn't return it, but I would never buy one for her. Why? Because I'm the meanest mom on the planet! No, not really. It's because I truly believe that kids are losing their sense of imagination & attention spans because of computer & video games. Sure they are good with eye-hand coordination, but kids can't sit still for 10 minutes nor can they just run around outside using their imagination...all because most parents allow their kids to do nothing but play those things. (That said, my daughter does have 2 Gameboys and a Gamecube...all given to her by someone else.) And fashion trends, forget it! I refuse to spend $80 on a pair of shoes that will be outgrown in 6 months. A good knock off will serve the same purpose IF absolutely necessary. I try to encourage my daughter to have her own style instead. (And believe me, she does!)
But how far am I willing to go for my kids' needs? I don't know that I have a limit there. I've had some bad times, have gone without food for a day or two, have slept on couches and in my car (only once), have worn the same clothes for years...but my children have never had to suffer those same fates. I made sure the kidlet never knew the dire straits we were in, always had food, good clothes, toys, and love. LOTS of love.
Surely I am not the only mom on the planet who has this happen to them. You go to the store, you spend a stupid amount of time picking out groceries, all the while dealing with idiots who can't seem to drive a shopping cart let alone a car (or usually an SUV), spending ridiculous amounts of cash, only to find a day or two later when you go to get something out of the 'fridge or cupboard that YOU really want to take for lunch, that someone else...everyone else...had already taken it/eaten it! I did all the work! I WANT my treat, dang it! The sacrifice of a mother & wife is endless.
Am I the only person on the planet who simply LOATHES that damn "Big Girls Don't Cry" song by Fergie? "...I miss you like a child misses its blanket..." what the hell kind of lyrics are those?And why does she get to call herself Fergie? She should at least have to be be Fergie Take 2 or something. And "Her Eyes" by Pat Monahan from Train...what a crapass song that is! And what's with Hinder's song about longing for some other chick when his girlfriend/wife is in the next room. Ass, I tell ya, ass.
Someone needs to do something about this president of ours. NOW. Vetoing child health care. And still no funding to education. Idiot needs to go bye-bye. Please.
Are you looking for a new career?!?! Do you want to work in a casual work environment with friendly people?!?! We're currently hiring the following full-time positions: Chef Must be willing to ominipotently know what anyone wants on any given day. Duties will include breakfast, packing lunches, dinner and two snacks, keeping kitchen anally retentively clean, putting away dishes in the dishwasher due to the employer's irritation at having to do this task. Baby bottles must continually be clean & prepped. Housekeeper Duties to include scrubbing, dusting, sweeping including baseboards, cobwebs, mopping, making all beds, organizing offices, scrubbing toilets, stocking cupboards with stupid necessities like tampons or toilet paper when empty. Laundress Duties will include at least one load every other day. Must be willing to wash the employer's very few work shirts on demand whenever they are soiled by spit up. Stain removal skills are a plus. Accountant Must be willing to explain every single purchase made and explain reason for going over the grocery budget. Duties will also include reconciling the checkbook, making budget, paying bills, and filing tax returns. Ability to make money stretch further required. Errand Boy This is a very important position. Must be willing to run to the grocery store without notice, take vehicles for scheduled maintenances, and any other piddly errands as deemed URGENT! AND NECESSARY! by employer. Hot, muscular body, bedroom eyes and a dashing smile a plus! Shirt NOT required. Lawn Boy Must have extensive knowledge in flowers, shrubs, and grasses and the ability to make things grow in sandy, nutrient-depleted soil. Again, a hot, muscular body, bedroom eyes and a dashing smile are a DEFINITE plus! Shirt is also NOT required. Scientist specializing in cloning Must have the ability to clone the employer so that she can be relieved of some of her duties and have time for herself too. Clone will be responsible for making doctor's appointments, remembering birthdays & sending cards to all friends and extended family, making certain the diaper bag actually contains, you know, diapers.
Salary is very competitive and commensurate with what the finest SAHM's are being paid!!!!Apply today!!!!
Feeling better now. I don't know what it was, but now I'm fine. Well, tired...but fine. I feel like my days all sort of blend into one. I'm always busy, but with nothing really worth mentioning. Its a continually spinning wheel with random flashes of interesting things passing by. The routine that becomes life...and you find yourself just sort of wondering where time went.
Oh well. Life isn't bad...it's just rather...routine.
Kidlet started her theatre program. I'm glad she'll have a chance to make friends with similar interests. The kids at her school just don't "get" her, her interests, or her experiences. I'm hoping this will be good for her on many levels.
The baby is crawling! He's so funny! It's really more of an army crawl than an up on his hands & knees crawl, but it doesn't slow him down. He's sooo proud of himself! And he has a tooth! (my little Jack-o-lantern) Again, time just flying by.
Today was a nice day, bright & sunny & warm. We went to the Harvest Fest, which wasn't nearly as good as it was last year, but we did buy some pumpkins & gourds & peppers & leeks. We walked around, and just spent time together. Then we had dinner with Rick & Brian, and it was good.
And yet I'm feeling blue. I can't find the words or the reasons, it just is. It's a state of sadness. A state of missing my mom. A state of feeling for those people who have lost someone special to them. A state of uneasy restlessness inside my heart. I don't know what's causing it...but that's where I am right now. Hopefully it'll be gone by morning.
Today I'm feeling particularly inspired by the beginning of autumn.
I can't imagine living someplace that doesn't have that significant change in seasons, and particularly the joy that is the fall. I'm not a nature girl by any stretch of the imagination, and could never live much outside of a city, but every fall I can't help but yearn to be outside. The crispness of the air, the cool breezes, the lushness of color...it inspires me to bake, to paint, to explore. It is the only time of the year you will ever find me wanting to go hiking. (Of course the lack of mosquitos helps!) I want to draw & paint & photograph today (and sadly can't because I'm stuck at work...a museum that is offering TWO nature landscape drawing classes today, ironically).
I'm anxiously anticipating hubby & my upcoming trip to Mackinac Island with our friends in two weeks. The fall colors should be almost peaking up there then, and I can promise you I will be posting a plethora of photos afterwards.
I realize that I have these wierd quirks and OC randomness. I tend to get excited about something and then become almost wierdly obsessive about it. Sometimes its been Colin Firth, where I've had to rent every movie of his. Another time it was Disney. Right now I find I'm obsessing about: Doctor Who (David Tennant in particular)
Swap-bot (it really IS addictive)
and Mackinac Island Do you have anything you just can't help but feeling "obsessed" about?
Kidlet auditioned for the Racine Theatre Guild last week. They have a special program for teens...it's an extensive theatre training program that cumulates with performances in the spring at various schools. It is highly competitive to get into, apparently, and we were warned that unless you've been around the theatre it is tough to get into.
Well, wouldn't you know it...she got in!
Yes, I'm very proud! So despite not getting the art and drama classes she wanted this year in school, she is now in a great drama program & is also taking some art classes at the museum where I work. (Animation & pottery, I think, for the fall session.) So for now she has ambitions of being the next Idina Menzel...and that's awesome!
I'm facing a horrible reality. Next year I will turn 40. 4. 0. This is hell. In my mind I'm still 25. Not too old, not too young. But the reality is...well...40.
And I'm NOT ok with it.
I have a couple of other friends facing this same "milestone". Consider this a call to arms...if you are also looking 40 in the face, let's do something about it. Let's plan a bash. Something for us. US. Perhaps a trip away together? Toronto? New Orleans? Istanbul? Let me know your thoughts. I'm thinking May.I can NOT face this alone!
Some of you may remember when I wrote about Hannah a month or more ago with this link. Well, I have devotedly read Hannah's mother's blog ever since. I've read as she has moved through the pain of losing her lovely 5 year old in this tragic accident. I have been inspired by her celebration of her daughter's short little life, and her younger daughter, Lily's, delightfullness, as well. Tomorrow would have been Hannah's sixth birthday. Her mother is asking everyone to join them in celebrating her vibrant, sparkly nature by dressing bright & fun tomorrow. Wear the sparkliest earrings, necklace, shirt, shoes or scarf you have. Heck, wear a feather boa! This dear child, as well as all of our children, need to be celebrated for the beauty & innocence and joy they bring to this world. They touch the lives of so many more than they will ever know because of their sparkly nature. You can read more about Hannah & her family here. I hope you'll join me in celebrating her life & the lives of our children, as well.